With a brand new year right around the corner, the NBA regular season has nearly reached its halfway point. While fans of teams like the Warriors, Raptors, Celtics, and Thunder have title aspirations, fans of teams such as the Cavaliers, Knicks, Suns, Bulls, and Hawks are already looking towards the 2019 NBA Draft as their playoff chances are next to nil.

Each year, the league has a draft lottery for all of the teams that fall short of the playoffs. For this year’s draft, the NBA agreed to change how the ping pong balls are divvied out for the non-playoff teams in order to try to create less “tanking” from some of the teams with the worst records.

As stated on NBA.com, the teams with the three worse records will all have a 14 percent chance of getting the first overall selection. Up until last year’s draft, the team with the worse record had a 25 percent chance of obtaining the top pick. After the top-three worst records, the rest of the non-playoff teams have anywhere from a 12.5 percent to a 0.5 percent chance of winning the lottery.

Here are the current lottery odds (teams listed in order of worst record to best record) to receive the first overall pick for the non-playoff teams. Records as of games played through December 29 are listed in parentheses.

Draft Lottery Odds

1. Cleveland Cavaliers (8-29) - 14 percent

2. New York Knicks (9-28) - 14 percent


Phoenix Suns (9-28) - 14 percent

4. Chicago Bulls (10-26) - 12.5 percent

5. Atlanta Hawks (11-24) - 10.5 percent

6. Washington Wizards (14-23) - 9 percent

7. New Orleans Pelicans (16-21) - 7.5 percent

8. Orlando Magic (15-19) - 6 percent

9. Brooklyn Nets (17-21) - 4.5 percent

9. Minnesota Timberwolves (16-19) - 3 percent

11. Dallas Mavericks (16-18) - 2 percent


Utah Jazz (18-19) - 1.5 percent

13. Memphis Grizzlies (18-17) - 1 percent

14. San Antonio Spurs (20-17) - 0.5 percent

Of course, a lot of team movement in the standings can occur by the time the regular season is over. There is still more than half the regular season remaining, and some of the better non-playoff teams have plenty of opportunities to climb into the top eight of their respective conferences and become a playoff team.

In NBADraft.net’s most recent mock draft for 2019, the projected top five selections in next year’s draft are Zion Williamson out of Duke, RJ Barrett out of Duke, Bol Bol out of Oregon, Rui Hachimura out of Gonzaga, and Cameron Reddish out of Duke.